First Harris County Jail inmate tests positive for COVID-19

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HOUSTON– A 39-year-old male Harris County Jail inmate received a positive test result for COVID-19 on Sunday.

The inmate was booked into the jail on March 17 after being arrested by the Houston Police Department for a parole violation. The inmate was placed in quarantine on March 26, after jail medical staff conducting a standard health assessment detected an elevated temperature and a high pulse rate. He is in stable condition in the medical unit at the 1200 Baker Street jail facility.

There are currently about 30 inmates in the Harris County Jail with symptoms consistent with COVID-19. About 500 inmates who were potentially exposed to the virus, but who do not have symptoms, are in quarantine for observation. So far, five inmate tests have come back negative for the virus.

“The Harris County Sheriff’s Office medical staff and detention staff are taking every possible precaution to manage the spread of COVID- 19 among our nearly 8,000 inmates,” said Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. “Despite their heroic efforts, we know this insidious virus is nearly impossible to contain in a jail environment. I am in awe of the efforts of our team, and I remain especially concerned for the safety of those who show up for their shifts each day, knowing the risk to themselves and their families.”